Apple Urged to Restore Manhattan Declaration App

Organizers behind the Manhattan Declaration, an ecumenical document that upholds the traditional understanding of marriage, among other things, are urging Apple to restore its iPhone app.

The Manhattan Declaration app was reportedly pulled from the App Store some time over the Thanksgiving holiday after some denounced it as anti-gay.

"We are waiting on an explanation from Steve Jobs as to why our app was pulled," the conservative group stated on their Facebook page Tuesday. The group faxed a letter to Jobs on Monday.

The app was initially accepted by Apple and rated as a 4+, which indicated that it contained "no objectionable material."

But opponents of the Manhattan Declaration started a petition on demanding that Apple remove the "anti-gay, anti-choice" application.

"Want to join the hate fest? There's an app for that!" the petition reads. "Applications that support hate and division have no place in the iTunes Store. Let's send a strong message to Apple that supporting homophobia and efforts to restrict choice is bad business."

More than 7,700 signatures were added to the petition.

The Manhattan Declaration was unveiled last November, outlining principles that uphold the sanctity of life, the historic understanding of marriage, and religious liberty.

It was drafted by Dr. Timothy George of Samford University, evangelical leader Chuck Colson, and Dr. Robert George of Princeton University who were concerned about growing efforts to marginalize the Christian voice in the public square. They drafted the document to affirm fundamental truths and to encourage Christians to be uncompromising in their faith.

The document has been endorsed by prominent evangelical, Orthodox and Catholic leaders and so far nearly half a million signatures have been added to it.

An Apple spokeswoman told CNET that the app was removed "because it violates our developer guidelines by being offensive to large groups of people."

But in a message to signers on Tuesday, those behind the Manhattan Declaration rejected the call that the document is homophobic or anti-anything.

"We emphasize with great sincerity that 'disagreement' is not 'gay-bashing.' Anyone who takes the time to read the Manhattan Declaration can see that the language used to defend traditional marriage, the sanctity of human life, and religious liberty is civil, non-inflammatory, and respectful.

"The Manhattan Declaration clearly calls its signers to reject 'disdainful condemnation' of those who disagree and declares that all people are worthy of respect, because all are loved by God."

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